Hebridean Adventures’ vision is to provide an unforgettable slow-travel experience ‘From Sea to Shore’ so the public can visit, appreciate and understand the value of the outstanding world-class wildlife, habitats and land and seascapes of the Hebridean islands, the Minch and west coast of the Scottish Highlands. At the same time, we wish to educate our guests on the importance of safeguarding these environments and creatures via the citizen science efforts we undertake, which we also enable and empower them to participate in. A key long-term goal is to increase the number of our visitors wishing to continue supporting local conservation efforts in particular, as well as practicing sustainability measures on an ongoing basis and encouraging their responsible tourism for the future as we also commit to continuing to adapt and improve our business practices as well.
We are proud to say our business and key team members are accredited via ongoing training from the Wildlife Safe Scheme (WiSe), the UK’s national training scheme for minimising disturbance to marine wildlife.
We already work closely with several marine conservation organisations, namely the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust (HWDT) as an official Charity Partner, whereby we are making a £30 donation for every guest booked on our regular cruises starting this season. Those guests are offered a FREE 1-year membership of HWDT with our compliments and encouraged to renew and remain members for the long term. Furthermore, we have also instigated new annual fundraising cruises on behalf of HWDT in 2021 and we will be donating 15% of the proceeds of these cruises to the partner organisations.
We work with Whale & Dolphin Conservation UK (WDC) hosting a researcher to help provide valuable sightings data, fin ID photos and researcher opportunities on board, and we are actively talking to them to see how we can increase this further, practically and financially. Furthermore, we have also instigated new annual fundraising cruises and are growing this to also include the RSPB and the National Trust for Scotland in 2022, and hope to include the WDC as well.
We work with the Sea Watch Foundation (Recommended Boat Partner) on providing valuable sightings data, fin ID photos and researcher opportunities on board, and we are actively talking to them to see how we can increase this further, practically and financially. Furthermore, we have also instigated new annual fundraising cruises on behalf of SWF in 2021 and we will be donating 15% of the proceeds of these cruises to the partner organisations.
The management of Hebridean Adventures commit to meeting all legal compliances with regards to environmental legislation. We are working actively to reduce waste by ensuring the maximum amount of recycling is undertaken on board, and work with Clean Coast Outer Hebrides on facilitating remote beach cleans. This combines with our continued drive to reduce plastic usage and adoption of ecologically friendly cleaning products. We are also implementing low energy and low water usage appliances where practical and safe.
We've partnered with Teemill to bring you our most sustainable clothing line yet in our online shop. We have chosen to use Teemill to produce our branded merchandise as they provide print-on-demand products in the first working Circular Economy for clothing. Using repurposed materials and GOTS certified organic cotton, you can be sure that your clothing has been produced in a sustainable manner by a Carbon Neutral website and factory that is powered by renewal energy. There is zero waste from your clothing as covered by the print-to-order technology and all packaging is plastic-free. Every garment produced is designed to be returned to Teemill when it’s worn out so that it can be recycled and made into new Teemill products.
Hebridean Adventures are proud to be a Silver Award Green Tourism member working towards Gold Award accreditation. Green Tourism promotes greener ways for businesses and organisations to operate, by offering members advice on: reducing energy use, saving water, efficient & eco-friendly waste disposal, ethical buying, staying local & seasonal, minimising food miles, promoting biodiversity and adopting a smart, sustainable outlook from top to bottom.
Hebridean Adventures are sponsored by Swarovski Optik and offer a range of sample binoculars on board our boat. The Swarovski Foundation honours the philanthropic spirit of founder Daniel Swarovski by supporting charitable organisations across the globe. The mission of the Swarovski Foundation is to help foster culture and creativity, promote human empowerment and preserve the environment.
In partnership with the RSPB, we run special RSPB supporters’ trips which enable us to have some unique access to the local RSPB experts of the area such as conservation officers and wardens who will share their knowledge of the local species and conservation efforts with us. The money raised from these cruises goes directly to the RSPB reserves visited on this trip and enables the RSPB to continue their essential conservation work.
We have partnered with the National Trust for Scotland to help them continue their important work of safeguarding and managing many of the iconic properties of the Highlands and Islands. We run NTS fundraising cruises and the money raised from these go directly to helping many of the locations you will see on these trips.
We are proud to be part of WONDER SEEKERS: a new brand to develop and market new experiences in scientific tourism. We undertake citizen science efforts on behalf of our scientific and conservation partners on all our cruises and encourage our guests to take part and learn why this is so important to understanding and managing our local ecosystems and marine species.
We are happy to be able to offer Sea Change Wine aboard our boats. Pairing wonderfully with our onboard dining options, this range of ethically sourced eco-friendly wines donates a percentage of profits directly to marine conservation efforts.
We commit to further minimising disturbance to the animals and birds we encounter with our guests by seeking to continually improve our operations. One such noticeable improvement was to move the boat exhaust from below the waterline to above water, thereby reducing underwater noise generated by us for the cetaceans and basking sharks we come across.
We actively support local businesses and individual artisans by purchasing local produce for our tours wherever practical, and also providing them increased exposure directly via retail opportunities in our small booking office/shop plus via excursion visits, and indirectly by showcasing local attractions and businesses on dedicated website pages and via our social media on an ongoing basis. We pledge to continue to find and work with more local producers on providing a wider variety of food, drink and products such as Harris Tweed from across the Highlands and Islands region.
We encourage visitors to utilise public transport to reach us where practical, and plan to work more closely with the appropriate air, rail and ferry operators on joint marketing efforts for our various departure points to highlight the options better. We have also offered a central pickup and drop-off point in Inverness with our own minibus from the 2020 season on selected tours initially, but plan to increase this to more tours in the future.
We are an equal opportunity employer and commit to always working above and beyond the terms of the Equality Act 2010 and Modern Slavery Act 2015.